Firebug’s Plans Turn Cold After Ongoing Investigation

Police have extinguished a man’s ongoing alleged arson antics following an extensive investigation.

Detective Senior Sergeant Simon Taylor, Counties Manukau South CIB, says Police have investigated a series of five arsons between July 2023 to March 2024, mainly in the Papakura area but also one in Newmarket in August last year.

“Staff have made a number of enquiries into the incidents.

“As a result of our investigation, and with the assistance of a number of other workgroups within Police, we located a person of interest.”

Detective Senior Sergeant Taylor says the enquiries led Police to identify and arrest a 33-year-old man.

He is due to appear in Papakura District Court on charges of arson.

Four of the fires were at residential properties, causing considerable damage to the various dwellings.

“One of the fires to a dwelling occurred while the elderly occupant was inside. Thankfully a neighbour alerted them to the danger and they escaped without harm.

“The fire in Newmarket was to public toilets, which caused significant alarm being located within the train station on a Sunday afternoon.”

Detective Senior Sergeant Taylor says if it wasn’t for the quick response by members of the public and attendance by Police and Fire and Emergency NZ, these incidents could have been much more serious.

“Police would again like to thank those who provided information which assisted us in our investigation.

“We take all reports of crime seriously, especially those that have the potential to cause harm.

“This is also a timely reminder that working smoke alarms do save lives and for everyone to check they have working smoke alarms in their property.”

/NZ Police Public Release. View in full here.